…although you DO have to get started to be great!
The New Year hasn’t started quite as we’d planned (and boy have we planned), because while David’s COVID-19 test returned negative yesterday, he does have a rather bizarre viral infection which has left him totally wiped out and so it seems, I shall march boldly on into this first week of January on my lonesome.
I’m not complaining you understand – I wouldn’t dare, given the magnitude of the situation we’ve all found ourselves in over this last year and ever the ‘positivist’, I am grateful and thankful that our mountain to climb has been a mere bump compared to so many, both within our business and personal communities.
The point I wanted to make today is that, even when we’ve spent time and energy and effort (as we have here in Team FIT) crafting a really smart, thought-through plan for our business &/or personal lives for the year ahead, anything can happen – and at any time, to throw us off course.
And sometimes, as in our case, that can happen right at the very START of our journey!
That doesn’t mean the plan should be thrown out or that you should begin again – a bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.
So, if something should happen this week or next month that finds you steering a little off course, or even struggling to make the first move with all those hopes and dreams and goals you’ve set yourself for this New Year….
Remember – the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and while we DON’T have to be great to get started, we definitely DO have to get started to be great!
So here are 7 HANDY HINTS to fire you off the starting line, destined for that BIG finish in Dec 2021….
1. Create your 2021 Goal Plan
Use the S.M.A.R.T.E.R principle to craft your goal plan & ensure your objectives meet these criteria – specific, measurable, action orientated / achievable, realistic, time-bound, exciting & reviewed regularly.
Remember, make your dreams in a size too big so you can grow into them! Follow the goal-setter’s rule to craft your goal plan i.e. THINK BIG – START SMALL – SCALE FAST.
A goal is simply a dream with a deadline, so it’s really important that you set objectives with proper milestones put in place along the journey, to test & review progress and a concrete end date to effectively measure your success WHEN you reach your destination at the end of the year.
2. Carve up your 2021 Goal Plan
Break the plan down into quarters; months; weeks & days e.g. what can you specifically, realistically achieve by end of Q1? What needs to happen by the end of Jan? How many meetings do you need to have booked each week and how many calls will you need to make or take each day, in order to reach this target?
If one of your goals includes a personal one e.g. having the holiday of a lifetime in the Maldives (as is one of MY goals this year!) then how much will you need to set aside each week or month in order to settle the balance when it becomes due?
As Stephen Covey taught us – start with the end in mind and work backwards. You know what they say – an inch is a cinch and a yard is hard! So, break your plan down into manageable chunks and notice how much easier the journey becomes and how much more fulfilling achieving those little milestones become too.
3. Design your 2021 Vision Board
Achieving your goal plan becomes much easier when you can clearly visualize your goals & objectives, whether that’s in the form of a vision board – a pictorial representation of your goals, pinned up somewhere in your eyeline which you can subconsciously focus on each day, or whether that’s an Excel spreadsheet on your PC, which you can refer to each day.
Having something visual or physical as a reminder of what you are planning to achieve in 2021 helps to keep you focused and on track with your plan, because “seeing is believing” and if you believe it, you’ve conceived it – and “thoughts becomes things” remember?
4. Build your 2021 Daily Routine
We are creatures of habit and building daily disciplines into your schedule from the off (that is, from the moment you wake up) is a great way to ensure you get your goal plan off to a great start each day, so that you’re then more easily able to stay on track.
Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning (www.miraclemorning.com) has set the personal development world on fire over the last few years, culminating in the launch of its premier movie in December – which I purchased and have since watched THREE times over, learning something new each time about his proven 6 Life Savers (Silence, Affirmations, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading & Scribing). The claim Hal makes is a tall one – that these 6 daily habits can totally transform your life – and all before 8am each day.
It’s a really simple, straightforward philosophy that proves the most successful people – in business AND life – are those who build those daily habits into their morning schedule, so that they’re able to hit the ground running, with all the energy & gusto of a world class athlete.
The international best seller The Miracle Morning is definitely worth a read – have a pen to hand as you’ll want to jot down a few notes I’m sure, and you’ll certainly want to underline or highlight some of the golden nuggets Hal spells out in the book.
Hal Elrod’s 6 Life Savers are on MY Goal Plan for 2021 (check out my vision board here) and only a few days in, I’m already feeling a whole different vibration in my energy levels AND I’m getting more stuff done on my to-do list much earlier in the day. Maybe I could be a puppy dog (rather than a night owl) after all
5. Reward Yourself Regularly in 2021
There is no greater motivation than ticking a ‘to-do’ thing as ‘done’ on your list. It’s really satisfying when we set ourselves a goal or target (especially if it’s a stretching one) and we reach it ahead of schedule.
However, motivation is a bit like bathing – it ALWAYS works but it NEVER lasts! So, ensure you motivate yourself regularly and reward yourself in different ways each time, so that you continue to reap the benefits of achieving your dreams and goals.
Remember that ALL motivation is SELF MOTIVATION – I cannot motivate you to do a great job and you cannot motivate me. Although, as leaders, we certainly have the capacity (and the responsibility) to create the right motivational climate in which self-motivation can flourish within our teams.
First though, we must recognise that each one of us has a duty of self-care & love & joy FIRST, before we can ensure the right environment for those who work with, or for us. As airline cabin crew have always advised us – we must put on our own oxygen masks before attempting to help and support anyone else!
Rewards don’t have to be big or expensive – sometimes rewarding yourself with a posh coffee from Costa once you’ve got the monthly reports finished can be enough, or taking a walk around the block for some fresh air and exercise, once you’ve completed your round of 1:1s with your team.
And it’s the same when it comes to rewarding your staff – a THANK YOU is the most neglected form of compensation and sometimes, it’s the only reward your staff need, in order to feel valued and motivated to press on. Once again, it’s those small things that can make a BIG difference to yours, your colleagues AND your customers’ experience.
6. Heed the Lessons & Learns in 2021
There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback, as we NLPers say!
So, if you find yourself a little off course at any point or you feel you’re hitting a roadblock in some way, then just press that pause button for a moment and ask yourself…
“What exactly can I learn from this?”
“How might I approach things differently next time, to ensure I get a better outcome?”
“What’s the specific lesson I need to heed here, so that I don’t do the same thing again, expecting a different result?”
“Who in particular can I reach out to (who’s been where I’m going) to give me some help & support and guide me back on track?”
Then use the answers to reflect and review on why & where you’ve got to and adjust your plan accordingly. It’s usually just the odd tweak that’s required to steer you back on course, yet those little adjustments might just be the difference that makes the difference.
So, put those little one percent tweaks in place and enjoy the 100% positive difference you’ll see as a result. Remember, small things can make a BIG difference – marginal gains and all that!
7. Become your own 2021 Publicity Agent
There’s an old saying that goes “People will never rise above their own opinion of themselves and sadly, that opinion is usually rather low”
Yet we can NEVER be more than we believe is possible, so we should ALL start believing in possibilities, agreed? And to do that, we have to become our own Publicity Agent. We can’t hire anyone else to do our press-ups for us, and it’s the same when it comes to ‘bigging’ ourselves up!
We have to start talking openly about our positive traits and qualities and success stories, especially at this time, with all we’ve been through with this pandemic over the last 10 months – because we’ve got a LOT to be proud of folks.
We must accept that our external world is a direct reflection of our internal world, so we’ve got to get all those inner strengths out there – shout it from the rooftops! Outwardly and openly demonstrate those traits and talents to everyone you engage with, in both business & life and get others supporting you on your PR campaign!
Find ways to focus your energy on the good stuff, because our energy flows to where our attention goes, so it’s a real win-win when you learn to big yourself up and become your own publicity agent – you’ll feel full of energy AND get the attention you desire & deserve!
There’s no room for shrinking violets or wallflowers in this New Year – we all need to be a bright sunflower in 2021
Have a great first week – shine bright, stay safe & keep FIT!
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